An afternoon in Tuscany

Yesterday I was delighted to co-host a bridal shower for my college roommate, Megan. Her bridesmaids Jenni, Katie and I put together an afternoon full of fun to celebrate Megan's upcoming marriage to Bob.

Because Megan and Bob plan to honeymoon in Italy, we decided it would be fun to do a little nod to Italy without playing up the boring Italian stereotypes. The colors of Tuscany helped to keep the event beautiful.

VENUE

Columbus is full of incredible venues, but it can be hard to find something affordable for a large group.  Brothers Drake Meadery is an urban producer of wines made from honey sourced from Ohio to create a delicious modern take on an ancient tradition. The friendly folks at Brothers Drake were amazing and easy to work with; super accommodating for our event. Check them out for a Columbus party or for a fun night out.

MENU

I'm a huge fan of local market, Weiland's. I use their catering services all of the time because it's fresh, affordable and of course, supports a locally owned and operated business. Brunch being the best meal of the day (duh!) we chose a menu of incredible brunch favorites and Weiland's set it all up for us; we even saved a little money by returning the equipment ourselves. I made matching food labels with my signature handlettering to tie it all together.

DECOR

To keep with our Italian theme chic, we steered away from white and red checkered table cloths and leaning tower of Pisa figurines. You know your girl loves a theme, so coming up with the decor is always my favorite part.

Paper Goods

We found some beautiful vintage mediterranean paper goods on Etsy from Paper & Pastiche including place cards, thank you cards, bunting banners, and welcome poster. We also found our invitations on Etsy from Simply Social Designs.

Floral

Instead of traditional fresh cut flowers in vases, we opted for planted gerber daisies from Baker's Acres and basil from Meijer in tomato cans. We'll be eating tomatoes for until infinity, but the tomato cans really brought the Italian theme to life and the cans made great take aways for guests. Cans were swooped up from local grocery stores, and the big Nina cans were found at Costco for just $3! Katie did a great job with these!

Table Top Decorations

Another quick and easy decoration that brought a little bit of Italy to the space were vases full of pasta or breadstick, tied with raffia and burlap. Vases from the Dollar Tree are great to keep in stock at home and reuse again and again. We also bought a big bag of lemons from Costco and featured it with some greenery from Kroger to pull in the Tuscany feel!

Vintage Map

I bought a Cavallini map of Italy from On Paper, and lettered it for Bob and Megan. They are big travelers so this was a hit with them. It was easily displayed on my IKEA chalkboard.

Signage

I used the same design from Paper and Pastiche and bright blue Sharpie paint pens on 4x6 paper, coupled with some whimsical lettering to make signage. The frames are cheap white stanchions from IKEA.

ACTIVITIES

Megan is not one for group games, but we found a few ways to incorporate ways to engage with the event for guests.

Envelopes

To make thank you note writing a breeze, envelopes from Amazon were available for each guest to fill out with her address. All Megan has to do is write the note, seal it up and send it on its way!

Stories

To entertain guests between present unwrappings, and to take all of the eyes off of the bride while she opened we also had a station to write down a favorite memory of Megan. I read the anecdotes aloud while she unwrapped and she would guess the author. This also helped the guests from different chapters of Megan's life to get to know one another throughout.

Envelopes

Just for fun, we also filled a jar full of Hershey's Kisses and guests could guess how many there were for a chance to win all the Kisses. There were 248...and there would have been 250 if I hadn't eaten two. :) I was a little short on Kisses for the size of the jar, so I put tin foil in the bottom to make it look more full! The sign and guess slip is also from Paper and Pastiche.

SPECIAL TOUCHES

Bride's Cup

We found a yellow mason jar jug with a lemon lid at Michael's, perfect for our theme! I lettered it with Megan's name so she had a spillproof mimosa container with her white outfit!

Gift Book

The same Michael's collection had a lemon notebook that was perfect for recording the gifts and gift givers for Megan and a little lettering made it even more special.

Favors

As a little takeaway, we bagged up sparkling limoncello hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Works and sealed them with yellow washi tape.

Performance

One of our best friend's from college, Meghan Watkins, is a professional singer, and she kicked off the present opening portion with an a capella solo about love. It was so touching.

The event was a beautiful tribute to Megan and Bob's love! And I think the decor turned out beautifully! What would you add to an Italian themed shower???

xo. NatKP